HOME opponents for 2022
Cleveland Browns – WIN
The stripes got swept by the Cleveland Browns in 2021, which was shocking considering the Browns finished last in the AFC North, and the Bengals swept both the Steelers and the Ravens. To be fair, the Week 18 game should have an asterisk next to it considering Cincy was resting a good portion of their starters, but when looking at the schedule, Cleveland did indeed sweep the stripes. That much is true.
The Browns won’t do that again this year though. Once Cincinnati fixes the voids on the offensive line, that will make them match up a lot better against the Browns. Cleveland’s biggest strength is their run game and defensive line led by all-pro Myles Garrett. The Bengals haven’t matched up well against the Brownies but that’s about to change.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are bound to win over the Bengals eventually, and they’re motivated more than ever to knock off the black and orange stripes. Cincy went 2-0 against KC in the 2021 season, beating them in Week 17 and again in the AFC title game.
The Bengals have made incredible second-half adjustments against Mahomes and showed it in both games last season. The Chiefs will give the Bengals their best from here on out, and Mahomes will come into this game firing on all cylinders through all four quarters this time. Chiefs escape Cincinnati with a close win in this one.
This will be Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa’s first head-to-head matchup since they joined the league in 2020 just four picks apart in that year’s draft. The Dolphins will be a competitive team and will make things tricky for the stripes.
In this matchup, though, the Bengals will be too much for the Dolphins and will win this game by at least two scores. Unless Dolphins make drastic moves, it will be hard to keep up with Cincinnati’s offense.
Personally, the Steelers could be in line to be the worst team within the AFC North next year if Mason Rudolph takes over as the starting quarterback. Not to mention they don’t have an exceeding amount of cap space, and the Bengals didn’t have trouble finding their rhythm last year against their defense.
The Steelers keep this one close for most of the game, but the good guys pull away late, win by 7-10 points, and grab another division victory.
Predicted Record: 6-2